I saw a bumper sticker recently: “Vermont. I get it.” At Stella’s for breakfast this morning, I kept thinking, “Vermont. I get it.” Maple syrup. Beautiful foliage. Hills split by green pastures and picturesque farms. Organic sustainable shade-grown coffee. Local blueberries in the pancakes. From what I’ve seen, there’s a different character just over the Connecticut River. For example, Vermont Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio were both holding fall pledge drives. VPR met their fundraising goals two days early while NHPR fell short of their fundraising goal.
More compare-and-contrast later. But first – breakfast!
Stella’s is in Hartland, Vermont, which is about 20 miles south of Hartford, Vermont. No wonder we got confused and drove 25 minutes south to breakfast. I thought it was well worth the drive. Stella’s shares a building with the Hartland post office, and a “gen’ral” store. Next door, the local church was preparing for their annual Turkey Dinner: $5 or $10. Preschoolers for free.
Stella’s is tiny – it barely seats 27 diners at 6 tables and 5 counter spots. We got there at just the right time, walked right in and sat at the counter. I couldn’t take too many pictures because we were right in front of the kitchen and I was honestly worried about offending the chef who kept a very close eye on the dining room. I did have to catch a quick snapshot of the little potion bottles full of maple syrup.
I ordered blueberry pancakes, scrambled egg and a sausage patty. The blueberries were local, as were the eggs. I didn’t catch the whole description on the menu, but their eggs are local, pasture-raised, and I think there was something in there about tuition remission and paid volunteer time off. The waitresses wrote down orders and took them to the kitchen with, “Order, Please.” Vermont. I get it.
The pancakes were fan-stupid-tastic. The berries were tiny and sweet. The pancakes themselves had just a little tug but still sucked up the maple syrup. I was so happy to gobble down my pancakes, I don’t think I even took a moment to ask Sam how his breakfast was. What even did he order? Was it good? I hope he replies in the comments to fill in my missing details. Like everywhere else, the bill was $26, including tip.